Home Technology How Valley Behavioral Health uses Slack in a regulated industry

How Valley Behavioral Health uses Slack in a regulated industry

Team collaboration tools have become popular in a variety of sectors in recent years, replacing email with group chat “channels” for real-time communication. For Valley Behavioral Health, that’s meant using Slack to improve the flow of information between staffers while ensuring that patient data remains protected.

Although it’s largely a Microsoft shop, the Utah-based mental health services provider uses Slack’s Enterprise Grid for internal communications among its 750 employees, connecting doctors, therapists, social workers and other staff members.

Valley Behavioral Health has channels for care coordination and a broad range of other purposes, from HR-related queries to property management issues (users can upload a photo of faulty equipment in office buildings, for example) to IT ticket submission. There’s also a  “general” channel allows for informal conversations between colleagues.  

“It’s a real hub of communication around our entire business,” said Valley Behavioral Health CIO Tyler Tait in a recent interview.

Securing patient information

As an organization operating in a highly regulated area — healthcare — Valley Behavioral Health must manage protected health information (PHI) sent by staff that use a digital communication platform.

Although not initially aimed at regulated industries, Slack’s Enterprise Grid — announced in 2018 — can be configured for compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), thanks to the addition of encryption and data protection capabilities.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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